Congressional Reauthorization of Export-Import Bank Strengthens Small Business Exporters and the US Economy

Ex-Im Bank SealThe United States government’s vehicle for promoting U.S. export sales, the Export-Import (Ex-IM) Bank has been reauthorized to operate for three years. On Tuesday, May 15, 2012, the Senate passed the bill previously passed by the House of Representatives. In addition to the re-authorization, the bill also raises the independent federal agency’s lending cap gradually from the current $100 billion to an eventual cap of $140 billion in 2014.

The Export-Import Bank has been renewed several dozen times since it was established in 1934. Without congressional action, the bank’s charter would have expired at the end of this month. It is also close to going over its lending cap.  The Ex-Im Bank, which takes no money from taxpayers, last year provided export-financing support for about 2 percent of U.S. exports, about $32 billion in loans, loan guarantees and credit financing.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports the goals of the bank; in comparing Ex-Im Bank’s role to that of lenders in other countries states: “In 2011, Chinese export credit agencies provided almost 10 times more financial backing than did the Ex-Im Bank.” The bank identifies approximately 87 percent of its transactions as benefiting small businesses (under 500 employees.)

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued this statement following Senate passage of H.R. 2072 to reauthorize the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank:

“It’s a good day for manufacturers after weeks of uncertainty regarding the future of Ex-Im Bank. Today the Senate stood up for jobs by taking quick action on legislation reauthorizing the Bank and increasing its lending authority. Manufacturers also thank House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer for moving this bipartisan agreement, which supports 290,000 jobs, to the Senate. Manufacturers have been at the forefront of this debate, meeting with lawmakers and sharing how important the Bank is to growing exports, especially for small and medium-sized manufacturers.”

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years, Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers $1.9 billion above the cost of operations. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.

During FY 2011 Ex-Im Bank approved $32.7 billion in total authorizations  — an all-time Ex-Im record. That total includes more than $6 billion directly supporting small-business export sales — also an Ex-Im record. Ex-Im Bank’s total authorizations are supporting an estimated $41 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 290,000 American jobs in communities across the country. You can get more information and see export dollars by State and congressional districts by visiting And when it is time to ship out American-made goods on export-ready pallets, you’ll know where to come.


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Congressional Reauthorization of Export-Import Bank Strengthens Small Business Exporters and the US Economy